CMA provides quality care through COVID-19 pandemic

Shannon Jensen, CMA, stands in front of the Respiratory Illness Clinic at the Family Care Center. Jensen says the testing she and co-workers provide to patients is quick and virtually painless.

Twenty-five years ago, Shannon Jensen knew she wanted to be in the medical profession and get started right away. A friend encouraged her to become a certified medical assistant (CMA) and she’s loved the job ever since.

Jensen says compassion and communication are important traits as a CMA.

“We take care of patients from beginning to end,” says Jensen, a CMA in the Respiratory Illness Clinic. “We make patients feel better and help them feel comforted. We also educate them after their visit and help them through their medical journey.”

That type of care has been important as the Respiratory Illness Clinic has evolved and grown to meet the needs of patients during the pandemic.

Testing patients during COVID-19

In March, Jensen says her team saw, evaluated, and tested all patients in the Respiratory Illness Clinic. As the need for testing grew, her team provided care in new locations.

“Since the beginning of COVID-19, Shannon has worked many, many hours at the testing sites,” says Karen Heath, patient access specialist. “She also worked to get the new student test center downtown up and running.”

Jensen says there were a lot of students walking all the way to the drive-through site near the Family Medicine Clinic. They needed easier access for students that were on foot. She’s happy she can provide care to people who come for testing.

I feel it’s an important job and treating the patients with kindness, compassion, and empathy is helpful in this time. They’re pretty scared coming in and we give them the support they need.

— Shannon Jensen, CMA

A positive experience for patients

Jensen says teamwork at the Respiratory Illness Clinic is an important component of successful patient care.

“Everybody’s upbeat, everybody is positive, and knows they have a job to do,” she says. “They’re excited to get their day going and excited with the fast pace of things. It’s a great crew.”

The testing she and her co-workers provide at the clinic is quick and virtually painless.

“People coming here are so nervous and anxious and honestly, that’s the worst part of the whole process,” she says. ”When they’re done, most leave with a smile.”

Jensen is humbled she can help others—of all ages—during this difficult time.

“Parents are thankful when I’m able to talk their child through the testing process,” she says. “If I can help them hold still, just hold the child’s hand, that alone makes the kiddo feel a lot better.”